Read an Excerpt
Hi! My name is Bob Miller, and this is the introduction to a book that will help you do great on the quantitative section of the New GRE. This book will help you achieve your goal—getting admitted to the graduate school of your choice. It is important to know that a perfect score is not necessary. You only need a score that is high enough to get you into the school of your choice. ETS has changed the score scale from 130 to 170, in units of one. Therefore, a score of 169 is possible.
This book gives you everything you need to master math on the GRE revised General Test. All the topics in this book are covered in a way most readers have found easy to understand and sometimes even enjoyable. The kinds of questions on the GRE quantitative section are approximately 10% arithmetic, 40% algebra, 15% geometry, and 35% data analysis. (No advanced math such as trig or calculus or geometric proofs will be found on this test.) However, I’ve found great variation from test to test in the past. Some of the topics overlap each other. So even these percentages are very approximate. This book teaches you the topics you need, has many questions that are worked out in detail for you, and provides many other review questions and answers.
According to ETS, the test consists of either two or three math sections (one is an ungraded field test). There are 20 questions in each section on the computer-based test and 25 questions on each section on the paper-and-pencil test, with a time limit of 35 minutes. A calculator is provided for both the computer-based and paper-and-pencil versions— major change. It is a simple calculator with only addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root keys. There are memory keys and a special key on the computer— button that will allow you to directly transfer your answer to the answer sheet.
On either version of the test, you may return to any question in a section. On the computerized version, you can add a check to problems and come back to them, changing answers if you choose. Once a section is finished, however, you cannot go back. Some advice: Never change an answer unless you are 100% sure the new answer is correct. On the last test I took, I went against my own advice and went from a correct answer to a wrong one!
There will be four types of questions. The first is the standard (single-answer) multiple-choice question, about 45% of the test (again, percentages are very approximate). The second is a multiple-answer multiple choice, which accounts for about 10% of the questions. The third is numeric entry, again about 10% of the test. The last is quantitative comparisons, about 35% of the test.
With the New GRE, ETS is giving more real-life situations. This doesn't change the nature of the problem. It only changes the location of the problem from a zoo to a factory. The math remains the same.
I tried to write this book as I wished my books had been written when I was a student.
Good luck on the New GRE!
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
If you need an extra boost of math prep before you feel confident enough to tackle the math portion of the GRE revised General Test, this book is for you!
Depending on where you are on your educational pathway, some of you haven't seen math in a very long time. Maybe that's why you chose this test prep---for its easy-to-understand math practice and reinforcement. As you read through this book you may find that you know the material in some of the chapters pretty well---and others, not so much. Those are the areas on which you'll need to focus.
Before you pick up your pencil and start studying, read the introduction and become familiar with the math portion of the GRE. Make sure you understand how the test is conducted, and know the type and style of questions that will be asked.
Every day, devote at least an hour (or perhaps two hours, depending on your math skills) to studying the math concepts presented in this book. At first---just like starting an exercise plan---it will be hard. But after a few days, studying will become a natural part of your routine. Find a study routine that works for you and stick to it! Some people like to get up early and study for an hour or two before going to work or class. Others might choose to study on their lunch hour, at the library, or at home. Whatever schedule you choose, make a commitment to study every day-even on weekends.
Go through each chapter and try some of the practice problems. If you find them to be very easy, skip to the next chapter. Whenever you find a chapter that is not so easy, take your time and study the chapter in detail. After you have gone through the chapters that you think give you the most trouble, go back and study the remaining chapters. Practical math tips are included in all the chapters, and they will help you solve math problems quickly and more easily.
When you have a good grasp of the material, try the first practice test. Give yourself plenty of time and work in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. After you've finished the practice test, check your answers. If you find there are some types of questions (such as quadrilaterals) that you constantly get wrong, restudy the appropriate review chapter and practice problems.
After you've finished restudying any areas of weakness, repeat the process with the remaining two practice tests. Keep reviewing the math topics that give you trouble until you feel comfortable with the material. In just a matter of weeks, your math skills will improve and you’ll be ready for the GRE!